Things you should see in Ireland: Weekend trip to Kilkenny, Tramore, Waterford and Wexford

So far our weekend trips involved long rides to the west coast of Ireland, and for this one we decided to go somewhere a bit closer to Dublin.
A quick check on the map, and decision was made! Let’s see Kilkenny!

We skipped the breakfast, picked up the car early in the morning and headed straight to Kilkenny. By the time we arrived, in less than two ours, it was about time to eat something.
Kilkenny looked empty and closed, but we figured out that one hotel in the centre was opened. I wanted to have pouched eggs for breakfast, and I ordered two off them pointing to the description of “Eggs Benedict” on the menu. Waiter than asked me “just pouched or Benedict”? And I said – “Well, Benedict then, I’ve never tried them so far.”

What a mistake! I mean, not the fact that I ordered them, but that I waited 36 years for that. 🙂 The best eggs you can have! If you never tried them like me, don’t wait. Drop everything and find the nearest place that serves them. Absolutely the best way eggs can be used. 🙂


After a great meal in the hotel, we picked up the city map and headed towards the town castle first. When we approached the castle we figured out why the town looked so empty. There was a bunch of people supporting these brave athletes that were in the middle of a triathlon. As you can see, people were swimming in the river Nore. 🙂


Above the lovely promenade there is a gorgeous Kilkenny castle and big park around it. Castle is well maintained and has a couple of good exhibits and nice paintings, but it’s the first castle in Ireland that has clearly stated that taking photos is forbidden, so unfortunately I don’t have a single photo from the castle. Well, I do have a couple of them from the outside. 🙂

It’s really nice, and if you like castles it’s one worth visiting.


There’s a cool thing in Kilkenny called “Medieval Mile”, which is actually a walk through the narrow streets of old town centre that connect two most important buildings in the town, Kilkenny castle and Canice’s Tower. Walking through the “Mile” sets you back in the Medieval times, as there are some well preserved old houses, churches and a couple of galleries.

St. Canice’s cathedral is a Christian cathedral, and it’s tower is one of two round towers in Ireland that can be climbed. Even better, it’s built in the 9th century, and it’s quite narrow on the top. Only 6-7 people can stand there without being overcrowded.


Well, you know me by now. Give me towers, mountains or anything higher than two floors and you’ll see me on top of it. 🙂


But the most interesting part of the climb are weird stairs. They are getting narrower with every segment (or floor if you can call it like that) and you have less and less space to take turns. On the last segment, to reach the top and get out I had to take the backpack and jacket off, as the hole was just about my size. No one larger could pass through it. 😉

On the way through Medieval Mile we stopped in a small shop and I asked the guy there where is the famous Kilkenny beer coming from. And I got confused. 🙂 He told me that it’s the most common question and expectation that tourist have, the chance to have a pint of Kilkenny in Kilkenny brewery, but guess what, it seems that Kilkenny beer is not from Kilkenny. 🙂 I’ve researched on-line a bit and in the past Kilkenny was originally Smithwick’s product but renamed to “Kilkenny” as people outside Ireland could not pronounce Smithwick’s properly, and it was made for export only. That brand was then purchased by Guinness and since then it is not available as a local beer. Apparently “Smithwick’s” red ale is the same thing, just a bit lighter.

There is a local Smithwick’s brewery, and even though we were short on time we kindly got permission to use their bar without going for the whole Smithwick’s tour. 🙂


Since our first visit in Ireland I liked this beer, as it’s just about right to drink when thirsty. This time I tried the “Blond” one, and I can officially say that I’m in love. 🙂 One of the best beers in this country. Gentleman behind the bar was really nice, he explained us how everything is done in here and we know all but the secret ingredient that is used in all Smithwick’s beers. 🙂

All in all, Kilkenny is one lovely town with a medieval historical centre and many small things to see. I really liked it. I think it’s the tidiest of all smaller towns in Ireland that I’ve seen so far. So if you don’t know what to do for a weekend, go and check it yourself. 🙂 (And don’t forget to have your eggs here!)

After a pint, it was high time to head towards our lovely home for that weekend. It’s located somewhere where County Kilkenny ends, in Ballinlaw overlooking the great view of River Barrow and county Wexford. Unfortunately, I was lazy to take a photo when we arrived. It was a sunny day and everything was way nicer, but I thought I’ll get a nice morning photo. And then, morning was cold and cloudy. 🙂


We stopped here to leave our luggage and meet our lovely hosts (again AirBnB, what else?) and then we headed towards Tramore. I’ve heard about this place somewhere, totally had no idea where and I saw on the map that it’s just 20 minutes ride from Waterford, so I suggested that we go there and see the beach since the weather was really awesome. And then we arrived to one of the most beautiful sandy beaches in Ireland. It is one of those with a blue flag (meaning water is clean and beach is safe to enjoy swimming). Unfortunately I forgot my swimming kit at home. 🙂


But no worries, I headed all the way to the water, and had to touch it. Temperature was just perfect and I was really sad. There were a couple of swimmers splashing just a few meters away from me. Such a pity, perfect opportunity to swim again in Ireland, ruined!


We walked a bit around the beach, drove through Tramore and headed towards Waterford.

Waterford is yet another Irish hidden gem. Nice and tidy, with lot of colourful façades in the town centre. Most famous for it’s crystal production and the museum of treasures. Even though you would think Ireland is a small country, it’s not. By the time we reached Waterford it was late, all these important sites were closed and to be honest with you we were hungry too. So we sat in one of the restaurants which is part of medieval walls attached to one of the old towers remaining there.


I had mussels, and I think those were the best mussels I had in Ireland. As you can see it was just an awesome day, started with awesome eggs Benedict, ended with even better mussels with chorizo in Waterford. I should brand this as Igor’s Irish foodie tour. 🙂


I’ve walked a bit around the centre, along the promenade and through the new and fancy marina estate. Unfortunately evening arrived too early, days are not extremely long as in summer, so I did not take any gorgeous photos in Waterford. You’ll have to believe me that it’s the second nicest town in Ireland after Kilkenny. 🙂

Next morning we headed up to Wexford and we were just a bit faster than the rain. We managed to walk around the city centre, along the long promenade and ended up in front of the Wexford Opera.

It was such a weird day. We arrived around 10.30. I know it’s Sunday and everything starts working later on Sundays in Ireland, but Wexford looked empty. Even worse than our touristy places in Croatia. One small coffee place opened, 10-15 people in it, and that was about it. Empty streets, only a few older people walking around. All of them greeted us, which made the thing even more suspicions. 🙂


We had a coffee in mentioned place, and then rushed back to the parking. We were faster than this cloud. Yay for us! 🙂

I expected Wexford to be more or less similar to Kilkenny and Waterford but it ended up being weird. Maybe I should visit it some other time. In the summer or during the working days. 🙂

Well, till some other story…



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